Giving thanks on Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving Day and the Seahawks are working on another holiday. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t taken the time to count their ample blessings, and offer thanks.

Lawyer Milloy has been blessed, and with that comes being very thankful for his blessings.

“I know I’m blessed to be in the position I’m in, in a lot of different ways,” said Milloy, the Seahawks’ lead-by-example strong safety.

So it’s not just on this Thanksgiving Day that it’s easy for Milloy to give thanks.

“I’m thankful for my life, thankful for my family, thankful for my health, thankful that I’ve got the Lord Jesus Christ in my life,” he said. “You know, the simple things. I’m thankful for the simple things.”

Like the fact that at 37 he still is playing at a high level, in a league where that age usually puts you out of the league. Entering Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Qwest Field, Milloy has 52 tackles to share the team lead with linebackers David Hawthorne and Lofa Tatupu and rookie free safety Earl Thomas. Milloy also is second on the club with four sacks.

“There are a lot of players whose careers got shortened because of injuries, because of personal things; and I pretty much avoided that,” said Milloy, who is in his 15th NFL season and second with the Seahawks.

“But I know I can’t do it by myself. I’ve got a good supporting cast at home, which allows me to stay focused. When everything isn’t going as well as it can in football, I know I have them in my corner.”

That would be his wife, Claudine, and their three daughters.

“Those are the things that are most important,” Milloy said.

Yes, this is another of those what-they’re-thankful-for Thanksgiving Day stories. As clichéd as it is, it still seems relevant in these times that are so uncertain for so many. The Seahawks who were interviewed for this story agreed.

“Of course you can write that story, and you should,” tight end John Carlson said. “As professional football players we’re very well taken care of and we have so much to me thankful for. We’re very fortunate.”

A few cubicles down from Milloy in the locker room is versatile defensive back Jordan Babineaux. And what is he most thankful for?

“I’m most thankful for my position to touch so many other people,” said Babineaux, who made the team as an undrafted free agent in 2004 and this season is playing a vital role in the multiple-defensive back packages.

“I feel like my greatest asset right now in life is to maximize my platform. That’s why you see me doing so many things in the community, like giving back.”

Not just this community, but also in his hometown of Port Arthur, Texas. His foundation recently donated 300 turkeys to residents there.

“Now that was a good deal,” he said. “So I’d say I’m thankful for the opportunity to be able to do things like that, and it’s because of my situation.”

For Carlson, this day is all about his expanding family. There are his parents and three siblings. There is wife’s family. There is their family, because his wife, Danielle, recently gave birth to their first child.

“What am I thankful for? It’s simple,” he said. “I’m very thankful for my wife and my son, and my extended family. My family has broken down and expanded at the same time. It’s more focused, because now it’s my wife and my son and I. But it’s also my family and her family.

“It’s just great. That’s what I’m most thankful for.”

Running back Justin Forsett concurred with Carlson and Milloy, in that order.

“What am I most thankful for? Oh man, just thankful for my family and all the blessing that I have,” Forsett said. “Just the things that some people take for granted – clothes on my back, a house, a job. Especially in this era, with the recession, I’m thankful for all those things.”

Forsett grew up seeing people who didn’t always have those take-for-granted things.

“Definitely, that’s why I know what I have is such a blessing,” he said. “Every day I’m appreciative of just being able to come to work and have people here that I love being around and just having this job that I love.

“Those are just some of the things I’m most thankful for.”